Popular American talk show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres auctioned off her first non-fungible tokens (NFTs) collection for a total of $30,955 on marketplace Bitski today.
“I’m raising money for @WCKitchen. I made an NFT, and you can bid on it!” DeGeneres tweeted ahead of the auction.
I’m raising money for @WCKitchen. I made an NFT, and you can bid on it! My first NFT is up for auction right here https://t.co/KaVgo9uMqU, and you have 24 hours to get in on it. pic.twitter.com/LJs5btWKnR
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) April 26, 2021
“Ellen is jumping on the latest internet craze for a good cause by auctioning off a never-before-sold monologue and selfie featuring her original artwork, ‘Woman with Stick Cat,’” said the collection’s description.
Notably, all proceeds from DeGeneres’ NFT drop will go toward chef José Andrés’ “World Central Kitchen,” a not-for-profit non-governmental organization that provides meals to victims of natural disasters.
Woman and her stick cat
DeGeneres’ collection, which was on sale for only 24 hours, consisted of three tiers of NFTs of various scarcity. The cheapest one, the “SILVER ‘Woman with Stick Cat’ Package,” included unlimited amounts of tokens at a fixed price of $100. These NFTs represented a photograph of DeGeneres holding a drawing of, well, a “stick cat,” ostensibly drawn by the TV host herself. By the auction’s end, 64 of these tokens were sold.
“Own a piece of digital history, and smile knowing that proceeds from your purchase are going to a great cause! Buy a hi-res ‘Woman with Stick Cat’ Digital Image NFT as seen on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show,’ the program’s first foray into the world of NFTs,” said the description.
The “GOLD ‘Woman with Stick Cat’ Package” similarly included a photo of DeGeneres with her drawing of a stick cat but also offered buyers a physical, printed copy of the image signed by DeGeneres. Only 10 of these NFTs were minted as part of a limited edition, and four of them were sold at a fixed price of $2,500.
Finally, the one-of-a-kind “PLATINUM ‘Woman with Stick Cat’ Package” also included an “exclusive, downloadable 4K video file NFT of Ellen DeGeneres’ monologue from episode 18098 of ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show,’ featuring the comedian giving a quintessential, one-of-a-kind explanation of NFTs.” The winning bid for it amounted to $14,555.
Capitalizing on NFT craze
Despite a seemingly good cause, however, DeGeneres faced some criticism from Twitter users for jumping on the NFT bandwagon.
“Wow such an amazing artwork. (No) get your hands off our cozy #NFTCommunity,” one user tweeted.
Others pointed out that many talented artists are actually struggling to gain any recognition and the NFT market finally allowed them to earn money for their work—unlike DeGeneres, who is ostensibly just capitalizing on her celebrity status.
There’s a million artists that would have died to collab with you, even if that meant in a large group! NFTs help artists show their real talent in hopes to find a genuine collector, it’s not a quick way to make money off a mockery. You gave many people the wrong idea/msg now!😩
— Aisasso 👽 (@designecologist) April 26, 2021
“I understand wanting to be involved with the fun of this market. But this isn’t just a market. This is a community of really hard working artists who have been denied a market for years and years. Now, they have an oppounrity (sic) for recognition and validation,” tweeted Multivrs Studios.
Whatever the case may be, it looks like NFTs have already gone full mainstream by now.